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How to delete Facebook account permanently and temporarily

Mar 19, 2018 · 4 min read

How to delete Facebook account permanently and temporarily

Facebook users are deleting their accounts, following news that Cambridge Analytica harvested the records of 50 million people to target voters and influence the 2016 US presidential election.

If you also wish to join the #DeleteFacebook party or have your own reasons to quit, you have two options: either take a short break by deactivating your account or delete it and disappear from the ‘social world’ once and for all. Both methods are easy and you will be back to the real life in a minute. Keep reading for more.

Reasons to delete your Facebook account right now

It’s difficult to argue all those good features that the largest social network in the world nicely points out in its mission statement. It is without any doubt a handy tool for staying in touch with your family and friends as well as an unlimited platform for self expression and constant discoveries. By following your favorite brands, bloggers and news sites, you get to know a lot of what’s going on in the world. What is more – with all this information updating so quickly, you are never bored and always entertained.

Nevertheless, more and more people find themselves tired from all those likes, shares, messages and funny cat memes. Not to mention ongoing questions over social media addictions and recent disturbing issues, related to online trolling, the spread of fake news and ever-rising privacy concerns.

It’s actually scary, how much Facebook knows about us. Every topic you read, every like, share and click is carefully monitored, recorded and stored. You may have heard that the company has been spying on its users to detect their moods and then combine this emotional data with other information, such as relationships, age, interests and life events. This sensitive data then went to the hands of advertisers who had a great opportunity to target their users with personal ads, at the time when users felt the most vulnerable.

Whatever is the reason, there are two ways of doing that: you can either choose to temporarily deactivate your account or leave your ‘social life’ for good and never look back.

How to deactivate your account temporarily

This doesn’t erase you from the social network, but hides your profile from friends and search. It is like taking a short vacation: you can come back any time you want and find everything exactly as you have left before taking off. All your friends, saves, pictures and likes will be saved and waiting for you to return. It is a good option when you need a break but don’t want to get rid of your Facebook life completely.

If this is what you need, follow these steps:

1. Click the menu bar at the top right corner of your Facebook page.
2. Go to ‘General.’
3. Click ‘Manage Account.’
4. Choose ‘Deactivate Your Account’ option at the bottom of the menu.
5. Confirm your decision.

Remember that you can reactivate your account anytime by simply entering your email and password. Your profile will be restored completely.

How to delete your Facebook account permanently

If you are serious about quitting, you can choose to erase your profile together with all the information, saved articles, pictures and messages. Remember that after your account has been deleted, you won’t be able to log in and retrieve anything you left there.

Having this in mind, it may be a good idea to download a copy of your profile data. This includes your photos, videos, events, quotes, etc. If you want to do this, follow these steps:

1. Open the menu bar at the top right of your page and select ‘Settings.’
2. Go to ‘General’ and click ‘Download a copy of your Facebook data.’
3. Click ‘Start My Archive.’

Note that this download may contain some of your sensitive information, such as an address, phone numbers and private conversations, so it may be a good idea to secure your Internet connection with a reliable VPN service.

Now, let’s proceed to deleting your Facebook account:

1. Go to the following link and once you are there, click ‘Delete My Account.’
2. Follow a few simple steps to confirm your decision.

Leaving is difficult. But you can do it!

Once you complete the deletion process, your account is immediately deactivated. However, Facebook won’t let you go that easily and you will have 14 days to change your mind. If you wish to cancel your request, simply log in with your password and email.

It will also take up to 90 days for all the things you have posted, liked and shared to be cleared. And even when all is done, some of your information remains online. This includes pictures of you on your friend’s wall or your messages in their inbox. So if you want to vanish completely, you will have to contact them and ask this data to be removed.

Related: 7 tips to make your social media profiles as private as possible

Related: How private data of 50 million Facebook users was used to sway elections


Did you find these tips useful? Let us know in the comment section below!

Lewis Lambert Fox
Lewis Lambert Fox successVerified author

Lewis is a content writer at NordVPN and a true explorer when it comes to cybersecurity. He’s always on a mission to examine the tech world through the lens of privacy and share his findings and useful tips with blog readers.

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